Gov’t to get gold export data as it probes local declarations

Taskforce established to strengthen ‘rigid’ system

The government is taking steps to gather data on gold exports to verify whether the information provided by exporters aligns with the declarations made within the country.

This initiative is part of the government’s comprehensive strategy to combat gold smuggling and regulate exportation effectively.

President Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali

President Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali made the announcement during a press conference held at the State House in Georgetown on Thursday.

“We are proactively seeking additional information on all exporters to ensure that the information matches what is declared here in Guyana,” he relayed to reporters.

Additionally, a task force comprising of the Attorney General, Mohabir Anil Nandlall, Senior Minister in the Office of the President with responsibility for Finance and the Public Service, Dr Ashni Singh and the Commissioner General of Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA), Godfrey Statia has been established.

Additionally, the head of the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), the Governor of the Central Bank and the commissioner of the Guyana Gold Board are also members of this task force.  

President Ali informed reporters that the unit’s primary objective is to identify weaknesses in the ‘rigid’ existing system, enhance enforcement mechanisms, increase surveillance, and establish a specialised task force to improve interagency cooperation and gather international support.

The unit will also be required to explore the strengthening cooperation between bilateral partners in gold exportation.

“There will be a new treaty that has to be examined, new partnership agreement, new MOUs [and] we’ll have to improve the coordination among stakeholders,” the head of state asserted.

Additionally, the unit will have to develop data analytics to track gold exports using technology through GPS tracking. It will also use radio frequency identification and other mechanisms to monitor gold exports.

“We are also looking at some of the things discussed in the modernisation is whether we should have a quota on exporters and how we want to align our national regulations with AML-CFT standards and treat offence of smuggling as a predicate offence, which is tax evasion,” President Ali stated.

Thisis being done while the government awaits further information on recent sanctions from the United States Department of Treasury on the Mohameds and Permanent Secretary, Mae Thomas.